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Why does Baalke seem get a free pass from serious criticism?

If we take a look at Baalke's drafts 2010-2013, the trend is disturbing to say the least.

As it stands now, 2010 was his best draft in terms of long term contribution to the team (Bowman was a great pick; A Davis a gutsy good call, Iupati was an obvious but still good pick).

2011 looked epic before the recent run of legal trouble. A Smith may well have played his last game in a niner uniform. Kaep was a great pick, but everything I have read says that credit for that pick should really go to Harbaugh. Culliver and Hunter likely will be playing in other uniforms after this year. Miller is the only pick that has worked out.

The 2012 draft was THE WORST in the NFL that year. After James is cut / released, we will have zero players on our roster this year from the 2012 draft. That is pretty much unheard of. Yet…crickets…

In 2013, for all the firepower we had, we got one starting safety with concussion issues. The rest are all question marks including a couple of wildcards coming off injury.

Yet, I don't hear a chorus calling for Baalke's head in the media or from fans? Why? This team has been a quality corner or speedy wide receiver from winning the Lombardi for 3 years. Baalke has failed to deliver either, yet all I hear about is how Harbaugh, stuck with the same aging base of players year after year, is supposed to miraculous will his team Superbowl if he wants to get an extension, when Baalke has failed to refresh the talent of this team year after year, despite having ample opportunity to do so.

Where's the criticism? Where's the pitchforks? Why does Baalke get a pass year after year? What am I missing?
So basically, we have:
- one draft that was horrendous (2012)
- two drafts that were great (2011, 2010)
- one draft that is unknown (although Reid looks epic, Lattimore/Tank both have very high ceilings, Patton/McDonald/Lemon all made the roster)

Somehow this warrants "serious criticism?" You need to have an unbelievable cynical view to think that, collectively, those drafts warrant serious criticism. The 2012 draft was unimaginably bad, but overall that's a very good track record.

You also need to consider that a team like the 49ers, oozing with talent, doesn't have the luxury of keeping borderline players on the roster. They're cut because there are better players that will contribute more to the roster. A team like, say, Jacksonville, can stash more players on the roster in hopes of them developing in a year or two.
[ Edited by theduke85 on Apr 21, 2014 at 5:59 PM ]
I don't know. Aldon Smith is a disaster and that is regarded as one of his best picks. 2012 was completely lost. Kaep is a running QB with no pocket presense. A great athlete who is tall, big and strong and super fast legs. But he can't make a read to save his life. He has no idea what he is seeing out there. Upside yeah. Rare athletic skills sure. But he is a tad bit overrated on the WZ IMO. There are probably 15 QB's who can get just as far as him in the NFL. This thing is driven by defense, O line, running game. Alex Smith on his same team at the time proved it. He got the NFC Championship. He would have gotten to the Super Bowl if Kyle Williams didn't fumble twice. This ship is not QB driven.
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
I don't know. Aldon Smith is a disaster and that is regarded as one of his best picks. 2012 was completely lost. Kaep is a running QB with no pocket presense. A great athlete who is tall, big and strong and super fast legs. But he can't make a read to save his life. He has no idea what he is seeing out there. Upside yeah. Rare athletic skills sure. But he is a tad bit overrated on the WZ IMO. There are probably 15 QB's who can get just as far as him in the NFL. This thing is driven by defense, O line, running game. Alex Smith on his same team at the time proved it. He got the NFC Championship. He would have gotten to the Super Bowl if Kyle Williams didn't fumble twice. This ship is not QB driven.

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You are missing an objective opinion.

2010 was a great draft. Bowman may be a future hall of famer because he's playing better than Patrick Willis. Davis and Iupati are top 10 players at the respective positions. And Anthony Dixon was a great role player for us. He wiffed on Mays, but that was a Singletary pick.

2011 was an outstanding draft. Aldon Smith is a pro bowl player. We found our future QB in Kaepernick. Culliver is a solid corner. Hunter has shown flashes, but got banged up a bit. Kilgore is now a starter. Bruce Miller is a pro-bowl caliber full back.

Off-field issues are not Baalke's fault.

2012 draft was atrocious - and the verdict is still out on Looney.

2013 draft has solid potential. Eric Reid was an outstanding pick - you don't blame a GM because players suffer a football injury - that shows your blatant and idiotic bias against Baalke. Carradine, Dial, and Lattimore have potential to be contributors, but were redshirted in their first year. Not a big deal because we still have 4 years on their contract (first year didn't count). And this draft will kick in as Patton is ready, McDonald is ready, and Lemonier will have a bigger role.

I give Baalke a B+ grade. A good chunk of the talent on this team came before Harbaugh became coach. But the 2012 docks him a full letter grade.
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
I don't know. Aldon Smith is a disaster and that is regarded as one of his best picks. 2012 was completely lost. Kaep is a running QB with no pocket presense. A great athlete who is tall, big and strong and super fast legs. But he can't make a read to save his life. He has no idea what he is seeing out there. Upside yeah. Rare athletic skills sure. But he is a tad bit overrated on the WZ IMO. There are probably 15 QB's who can get just as far as him in the NFL. This thing is driven by defense, O line, running game. Alex Smith on his same team at the time proved it. He got the NFC Championship. He would have gotten to the Super Bowl if Kyle Williams didn't fumble twice. This ship is not QB driven.

You must be a delight at parties
Originally posted by DonnieDarko:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
I don't know. Aldon Smith is a disaster and that is regarded as one of his best picks. 2012 was completely lost. Kaep is a running QB with no pocket presense. A great athlete who is tall, big and strong and super fast legs. But he can't make a read to save his life. He has no idea what he is seeing out there. Upside yeah. Rare athletic skills sure. But he is a tad bit overrated on the WZ IMO. There are probably 15 QB's who can get just as far as him in the NFL. This thing is driven by defense, O line, running game. Alex Smith on his same team at the time proved it. He got the NFC Championship. He would have gotten to the Super Bowl if Kyle Williams didn't fumble twice. This ship is not QB driven.

You must be a delight at parties

I'm am the life of the party always......
Because he's done a fantastic job overall. Do some research and look at all the players brought in via Draft and Free Agency under him.
Originally posted by theduke85:
So basically, we have:
- one draft that was horrendous (2012)
- two drafts that were great (2011, 2010)
- one draft that is unknown (although Reid looks epic, Lattimore/Tank both have very high ceilings, Patton/McDonald/Lemon all made the roster)

Somehow this warrants "serious criticism?" You need to have an unbelievable cynical view to think that, collectively, those drafts warrant serious criticism. The 2012 draft was unimaginably bad, but overall that's a very good track record.

You also need to consider that a team like the 49ers, oozing with talent, doesn't have the luxury of keeping borderline players on the roster. They're cut because there are better players that will contribute more to the roster. A team like, say, Jacksonville, can stash more players on the roster in hopes of them developing in a year or two.

I'm not sure that we can say today that the 2010 and 2011 were "great" for the team in the long run. It's not just the drafting. It's how you choose to pay those players later. Take Iupati as an example. "Great" pick for a first contract, but you don't use a first round pick on a probowl guy for just a rookie deal. That makes no sense. You spend a first rounder on a guy you expect to pay if he lives up to his potential. Iupati has done everything right since we drafted him. He deserves a top dollar contract, but it does not look like he will get it from us. Why draft a guy, hoping he will be great, then when he is great, let him walk? And before you come back with the "you can't keep them all, because we are just soooo talented" comeback, we have plenty of cap room to sign Iupati right now. But we won't, because Baalke has assigned his mythical "value" to Iupati, and Iupati is valuing himself using a little thing known as "the market". What has Baalke done to earn the trust of fans that his "value" on All Pro players is more correct than the market?
Originally posted by Robert:
If we take a look at Baalke's drafts 2010-2013, the trend is disturbing to say the least.

As it stands now, 2010 was his best draft in terms of long term contribution to the team (Bowman was a great pick; A Davis a gutsy good call, Iupati was an obvious but still good pick).

2011 looked epic before the recent run of legal trouble. A Smith may well have played his last game in a niner uniform. Kaep was a great pick, but everything I have read says that credit for that pick should really go to Harbaugh. Culliver and Hunter likely will be playing in other uniforms after this year. Miller is the only pick that has worked out.

The 2012 draft was THE WORST in the NFL that year. After James is cut / released, we will have zero players on our roster this year from the 2012 draft. That is pretty much unheard of. Yet…crickets…

In 2013, for all the firepower we had, we got one starting safety with concussion issues. The rest are all question marks including a couple of wildcards coming off injury.

Yet, I don't hear a chorus calling for Baalke's head in the media or from fans? Why? This team has been a quality corner or speedy wide receiver from winning the Lombardi for 3 years. Baalke has failed to deliver either, yet all I hear about is how Harbaugh, stuck with the same aging base of players year after year, is supposed to miraculous will his team Superbowl if he wants to get an extension, when Baalke has failed to refresh the talent of this team year after year, despite having ample opportunity to do so.

Where's the criticism? Where's the pitchforks? Why does Baalke get a pass year after year? What am I missing?

One bad draft, and it's not all that unheard of when you have a stacked roster. If you remove that draft, which i'll point out he was quick to evaluate as a complete bust and hasn't wasted getting bum talent off the team instead of hanging on for ego's sake like bad GM's do, he has drafted 5 probowlers and 9 starters on the 2014 team in 3 drafts. His fa moves have been masterful. Several of his fa acquisitions have gone on to play at a pb level and on good contracts ta boot. He has done a fantastic job of setting this team up for long term success both in terms of the cap and the constant surplus of picks we have every year.

Yes he had a horrid draft a few years back. Bill Walsh had horrible drafts, Bellicheck has horrible drafts, Polian has had horrible drafts, the seahawks have nearly double player transactions to the next closest team.

Selecting talent that is going to thrive in the NFL is hard as it gets. Baalke is a premier GM.
[ Edited by WINiner on Apr 21, 2014 at 6:14 PM ]
I'm indifferent at this point. I'm still skeptical about his total involvement in the 2010 draft. 2011 is looking less glamorous than it once was. 2012 is an epic bust, and lack of talent from that draft arguably impacted our chance at a Super Bowl or two.

Reid is a good player, but I'm not convinced he's great. Whitner played a lot better last year than some people want to admit, and it remains yet to be seen how much he played in Reid's success.

They say it takes three years to realize the true success of a draft, but Baalke basically packaged last years draft with the 2014.

I really appreciate what Baalke's done with the free agency. However, if we don't have 3-4 new impact players this year I think Baalke should be on the hotseat. Even more so if his relationship with Harbaugh is as bad as some've said.
[ Edited by OregonNiner87 on Apr 21, 2014 at 6:14 PM ]
I think Balke is way overrated. For me, Navorro Bowman is Baalke's best pick 3rd round #91 overall.

Anthony Davis- not bad pretty good
Iupati- Not bad but why a Guard so high in the 1st round?
Taylor mays-Flop
Bowman-AMAZING!!!!!

2011 to me was GOOD!
Aldon is a BEAST who reminds me of Charles Haley JR. Keep him no matter what!!!!
Kaep has a lot of potential but he needs more work But I LOVE HIM
Culliver I like but he needs to STFU and act the F UP!!

2012 HAHAHA EPIC Perportions, Baalke Blew it bigtime must have been asleep from 2-12 thru 4-12

2013 I liked the Reid pick, hated the Tank pick but hopefully he becomes a BEAST, Loved the Lemonier pick and the Quinton Patton pick and the Lattimore pick hopefully he is healthy and strong.

To me, this 2014 NFL Draft will shape the 49ers either into Champions or Chumps.

Time to put up or Shut up as far as Baalke goes.

I give him a B-/C+
Originally posted by GEEK:
You are missing an objective opinion.

2010 was a great draft. Bowman may be a future hall of famer because he's playing better than Patrick Willis. Davis and Iupati are top 10 players at the respective positions. And Anthony Dixon was a great role player for us. He wiffed on Mays, but that was a Singletary pick.

2011 was an outstanding draft. Aldon Smith is a pro bowl player. We found our future QB in Kaepernick. Culliver is a solid corner. Hunter has shown flashes, but got banged up a bit. Kilgore is now a starter. Bruce Miller is a pro-bowl caliber full back.

Off-field issues are not Baalke's fault.

2012 draft was atrocious - and the verdict is still out on Looney.

2013 draft has solid potential. Eric Reid was an outstanding pick - you don't blame a GM because players suffer a football injury - that shows your blatant and idiotic bias against Baalke. Carradine, Dial, and Lattimore have potential to be contributors, but were redshirted in their first year. Not a big deal because we still have 4 years on their contract (first year didn't count). And this draft will kick in as Patton is ready, McDonald is ready, and Lemonier will have a bigger role.

I give Baalke a B+ grade. A good chunk of the talent on this team came before Harbaugh became coach. But the 2012 docks him a full letter grade.


Wow, " [my] blantant and idiotic bias against Baalke". It's been a while since I've been to niner talk. Good to see that the quality of responses has not increased over time. A few "idiotic" things I'd like to point out in your impeccable logic, "Off field issues are not Baalke's fault". So, in your view, it's not the GM's fault if he brings in players with character issues that then get into trouble? Really? So, why is it then that NFL scouts spend so much time investigating player's character? That would be because off field incidents DO matter because they DO impact the team. Same with injury prone players. It's a factor. It's a risk. If you take the risk and lose, you should pay the price.
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Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
Originally posted by DonnieDarko:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
I don't know. Aldon Smith is a disaster and that is regarded as one of his best picks. 2012 was completely lost. Kaep is a running QB with no pocket presense. A great athlete who is tall, big and strong and super fast legs. But he can't make a read to save his life. He has no idea what he is seeing out there. Upside yeah. Rare athletic skills sure. But he is a tad bit overrated on the WZ IMO. There are probably 15 QB's who can get just as far as him in the NFL. This thing is driven by defense, O line, running game. Alex Smith on his same team at the time proved it. He got the NFC Championship. He would have gotten to the Super Bowl if Kyle Williams didn't fumble twice. This ship is not QB driven.

You must be a delight at parties

I'm am the life of the party always......

I can't deny the Kyle Williams fumbles. Kaep, however, aided in winning an NFC championship, damn near, besides the team's mistakes, won the Super Bowl. The following year, he damn near got us, besides his horrid mistakes, back to the Super Bowl.
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Originally posted by Robert:
If we take a look at Baalke's drafts 2010-2013, the trend is disturbing to say the least.

As it stands now, 2010 was his best draft in terms of long term contribution to the team (Bowman was a great pick; A Davis a gutsy good call, Iupati was an obvious but still good pick).

2011 looked epic before the recent run of legal trouble. A Smith may well have played his last game in a niner uniform. Kaep was a great pick, but everything I have read says that credit for that pick should really go to Harbaugh. Culliver and Hunter likely will be playing in other uniforms after this year. Miller is the only pick that has worked out.

The 2012 draft was THE WORST in the NFL that year. After James is cut / released, we will have zero players on our roster this year from the 2012 draft. That is pretty much unheard of. Yet…crickets…

In 2013, for all the firepower we had, we got one starting safety with concussion issues. The rest are all question marks including a couple of wildcards coming off injury.

Yet, I don't hear a chorus calling for Baalke's head in the media or from fans? Why? This team has been a quality corner or speedy wide receiver from winning the Lombardi for 3 years. Baalke has failed to deliver either, yet all I hear about is how Harbaugh, stuck with the same aging base of players year after year, is supposed to miraculous will his team Superbowl if he wants to get an extension, when Baalke has failed to refresh the talent of this team year after year, despite having ample opportunity to do so.

Where's the criticism? Where's the pitchforks? Why does Baalke get a pass year after year? What am I missing?

Baalke has never gotten a pass.

Niners fans have been rippin' on this dude since day one:
It all started with this. The Cousin Baalke slam. As with everything in Niner land, we have two armed camps, pro and anti.